Our Team

CanWhite Sands Corp. is committed to the highest standards and practices of corporate governance. Our team is dedicated to our success by offering superior products and practicing sustainable development that respects the people, community, and environment. 

Management

Feisal Somji, B.Sc., MBA – President & Chief Executive Officer, Founding Director

Mr. Somji has 20+ years of experience ranging from grassroots exploration to mine development. Mr. Somji started his career managing an exploration and mine development services company with over 300 employees and divisions including diamond drilling, ground and airborne geophysics, geological consulting, geochemical analysis and laboratory services.  He has acted as an officer and director of several public companies involved in silica sand, gold, diamond, silver, copper and base metal assets in North America, South America, Asia and Africa. Most recently Mr. Somji was the founder, President and CEO of Rio Alto Mining Ltd, with it’s La Arena gold/copper mine in Peru, having achieved commercial production in 2011 and currently produces over 100,000 oz/yr. Mr. Somji grew Rio Alto from inception in 2009 to be acquired by Tahoe Resources in 2015 for approximately $1.3 Billion.  Mr. Somji also provides expertise in areas of corporate finance and governance where he has raised over $135 million and helped several projects go public. Mr. Somji has a B.Sc. from the University of British Columbia, an MBA from Queens University and a Commercial Pilots License.

Tom Pierce, CA, CPA – Chief Financial Officer

Tom has over twenty-five years of experience in the mining industry, most recently as a senior executive with a private mineral trading and investment company based in Singapore.  Prior to that, he was Senior Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer at Grande Cache Coal LP.  From 2009 to 2012, he was Vice President, Business Development with Grande Cache Coal Corporation.  He also acted as Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer with Grande Cache Coal and Controller with Fording Coal Limited.  Tom has vast experience in financial accounting, corporate planning, mergers and acquisitions, IPO’s and marketing and holds the CPA designation.

Brent Bullen, B.Comm, MBA – Chief Operator Officer and Director

Brent Bullen has over 30 years of senior executive experience in both North American and International Energy Service Sectors. Mr. Bullen established Canadian Fracmaster in Qatar and was an Integral part of Canadian Fracmaster’s growth in Russia personally involved in negotiating 4 of the 5 Russian Joint Ventures with an estimated market value of over $750 million Canadian. Mr. Bullen was President of the Valens Group of Companies an International group of companies providing over $300 million in value for well services, remediation and stimulation services in Central Siberia, and associated construction of infrastructure projects from pipelines, refineries, hotel business centers, schools, apartments and worker housing in areas included Central Siberia, Poland, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. Mr. Bullen was a co-founder and Board member of Neutrino Resources Inc. A TSX listed company sold for $83 million five years after inception, a co-founder of Dynafrac Well Services restructured into Calfrac Well services, and co-founder of Neutrino Energy Services Ltd. Mr. Bullen holds a B.Com from Calgary Haskayne School of Business and an MBA from Queen’s University.

Laura Weeden, B.Sc, P.Eng – VP Operations

Laura Weeden is a Professional Engineer with a Civil Engineering Degree from Dalhousie University. Prior experience includes technical and leadership roles at Baker Hughes, Schlumberger and Pomerleau with expertise in drilling, project management, design and construction.  She has been recognized in the industry for her success having been awarded Young Women in Energy Award 2018, Oilweek’s Rising Stars Class of 2016 and Young Professional of the Year in Canada 2017 through the Society of Petroleum Engineers. She holds several leadership roles through her involvement as the Chair of the Society of Petroleum Engineers – Calgary Section, Past- Chair the Society of Petroleum Engineers – Young professionals and a Board Director of the Canadian Energy and Climate Nexus.

Troy Needham, B.Sc, GIT – Geologist

Troy Needham is a Geologist with over five years of experience with a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology from the University of Calgary. Prior experience includes exploration and operation roles throughout major North American oil and gas basins with expertise in well planning, drilling optimization and resource evaluation. Troy is a member of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta with a GIT designation.

Directors

Thomas Buchanan – Chairman

Tom has over 30 years of senior executive experience in the North American Energy sector. Tom was Chief Executive Officer and a Director of Provident Energy Trust from 2001-2010 (a successor company to Founders Energy that he co-founded in 1993). He led a successful growth strategy that saw Provident grow to a $4.5 billion diversified energy company with significant investments in Canada and the United States in upstream oil and gas, natural gas liquids fractionation, storage, transportation and marketing.  Provident was acquired by Pembina Pipeline Corporation in 2012. Tom has extensive board experience having served as a Director of Pembina Pipeline Corporation, Athabasca Oil Corporation,  Emera Inc. and Spyglass Resources Ltd.

Feisal Somji, B.Sc., MBA – President & Chief Executive Officer, Founding Director

Mr. Somji has 20+ years of experience ranging from grassroots exploration to mine development. Mr. Somji started his career managing an exploration and mine development services company with over 300 employees and divisions including diamond drilling, ground and airborne geophysics, geological consulting, geochemical analysis and laboratory services.  He has acted as an officer and director of several public companies involved in silica sand, gold, diamond, silver, copper and base metal assets in North America, South America, Asia and Africa. Most recently Mr. Somji was the founder, President and CEO of Rio Alto Mining Ltd, with it’s La Arena gold/copper mine in Peru, having achieved commercial production in 2011 and currently produces over 100,000 oz/yr. Mr. Somji grew Rio Alto from inception in 2009 to be acquired by Tahoe Resources in 2015 for approximately $1.3 Billion.  Mr. Somji also provides expertise in areas of corporate finance and governance where he has raised over $135 million and helped several projects go public. Mr. Somji has a B.Sc. from the University of British Columbia, an MBA from Queens University and a Commercial Pilots License.

Brent Bullen, B.Comm, MBA – Chief Operator Officer and Director

Brent Bullen has over 30 years of senior executive experience in both North American and International Energy Service Sectors. Mr. Bullen established Canadian Fracmaster in Qatar and was an Integral part of Canadian Fracmaster’s growth in Russia personally involved in negotiating 4 of the 5 Russian Joint Ventures with an estimated market value of over $750 million Canadian. Mr. Bullen was President of the Valens Group of Companies an International group of companies providing over $300 million in value for well services, remediation and stimulation services in Central Siberia, and associated construction of infrastructure projects from pipelines, refineries, hotel business centers, schools, apartments and worker housing in areas included Central Siberia, Poland, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. Mr. Bullen was a co-founder and Board member of Neutrino Resources Inc. A TSX listed company sold for $83 million five years after inception, a co-founder of Dynafrac Well Services restructured into Calfrac Well services, and co-founder of Neutrino Energy Services Ltd. Mr. Bullen holds a B.Com from Calgary Haskayne School of Business and an MBA from Queen’s University.

Dennis Nerland – Director

Dennis Nerland has worked in the legal profession for 35 years, cofounding Shea Nerland Calnan LLP in 1990. Dennis received his Bachelor of Science Degree with Honours in Economics and Mathematics from the University of Calgary, his Master of Arts Degree in Economics from Carleton University in Ottawa and finally his Juris Doctorate Degree from the University of Calgary in 1979. Dennis completed the Rotman/Haskayne Directors Education Program and achieved the designation of Institute-certified Director (ICD.D) from the Institute of Corporate Directors in 2011. He has also completed the Rotman Financial Literacy Program and is a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Planners (“STEP”). In 2014, Dennis was appointed a Queen’s Counsel (“QC”) of Alberta.

Robert Stan – Director

Robert (Bob) Stan has over 34 years’ experience in the mining industry.  He held several senior positions with Fording Coal, Westar Mining and Teck Corporation before becoming a founding shareholder and director of Grande Cache Coal in 2000, where he served as President, CEO and Director until 2012, when the company was sold for US$1 billion.  He has served as Chairman of the Coal Association of Canada and a board member of the International Energy Agency’s Coal Industry Advisory Board.  Bob currently serves on the board of several private companies as well as publicly traded Anglo Pacific Group, which focuses on royalties connected with the mining of natural resources.